What we are experiencing today is unprecedented and offers us the opportunity to rethink our lives and the way we operate. Talking about our stories individually does not seem appropriate. What does seem appropriate is expressing our collective fears, anxieties, ideas and stories as we ride through this pandemic together.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
illustration: Studio Polenta
How do we – the entrepreneurs, freelancers and startup founders – deal with the situation on a daily basis? How do we organize ourselves to work remotely? What technological tools do we use? What are the risks and opportunities for us? Are we ready to telework? Are all sectors at a standstill or does digital technology allow for the continuity of work? These are questions we’ve decided to collectively explore in this special issue.
We are all at the starting line but we may not all reach the finish line. This is precisely why we have to stick together, support each other, and ask for help (if needed) to get through this crisis.
VIII. How To Face The Crisis Professionally
“Since we don’t know how long this will take, we have gone into full Business Continuity mode. We have put in place new guidelines for the teams, reviewed all our projects and activities, reallocated resources and unfortunately are thinking twice about new hires. It really sucks to have to change plans that you were looking forward to executing, but right now we need to think even harder about the balance between commercial initiatives and risk management. It is important to ensure that you can weather the storm if it sticks around for some time.”
– Bert Boerman, Governance.com
“Adaptation is key. We have switched into an “emergency” mode with drastic cuts in our budget for everything that was non-essential. One thing is certain: we do not have control over the duration of this crisis and we should be ready for the worst possible outcome. This doesn’t mean panic, but extreme capital efficiency. We initially tried to be in touch with economists and government officials in order to understand what could be the impact of the crisis, but we quickly realized that there were too many parameters to anticipate anything so we’ll just have to be ready for anything.”
– Kevin Muller, Passbolt
“Facing a crisis professionally is always an opportunity to reflect on all the habits and processes the company operates with and reflect on their efficiency. This crisis is unique because everyone is on the same boat, but when the crisis hits for just our company, it is an opportune moment to become even closer as a team.”
– Himadri Pathak, CheckMath
“I am currently writing this from New Zealand, having arrived here just two days before Europe became the new epicentre of COVID-19, and also just two days before New Zealand partially closed its borders.
It is safe to say, it is not a nice feeling knowing I have to travel across a crisis stricken world in a couple of days but I came to NZ because as a founder, it was important for me to show my team that I truly live by our core values, notably “family first.” More importantly, I had to do this for my mum, who needed me. My approach to crisis, particularly this one, is that I need to take things one-step at a time and not get too lost in hypothetical scenarios. By just breaking off bite sized pieces, one at a time, I have already coped a lot better than if I tried to deal with a mountain-sized challenge at once.
For me it is about celebrating the small wins, and not being overwhelmed by the big picture, that may or may not be an imagination.”
– Genna Elvin, Tadaweb
“Both offices are locked down. We have very few people who don’t have facilities to work from home and they appreciate the opportunity to be able to keep business running from The Office. The rest of the members come by just to print and send administration forms, mainly working from home.
We have taken multiple safety measures since the beginning of February: no physical contact (not even hand shakes), all cleaning products were replaced with disinfecting ones and cleaning hours increased. Then, we started checking the body temperature of every incoming person. At one point, people were calling me paranoid – but up to date we have no COVID-19 cases at The Office despite being an international community!
Professionally, I am not worried about our coworking community. I know my members. We all share similar values and we are the first wave to adopt. Entrepreneurship will be the first weapon to bring the local economy, jobs and services back.”
– Gosia Kramer, The Office
Read Part I: Working Remotely
Read Part II: Tech Tools Used
Read Part III: Fears
Read Part IV: Issues
Read Part V: Opportunities
Read Part VI: 24 Hours In A Life Of An Entrepreneur
Read Part VII: How To Face The Crisis Personally
Read Part IX: How To Keep The Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive
This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine (special Covid edition “Hope”). Download now.